September 4, 2013

High School Football Preview: Their Class D delight

The last time Maine high school football had a Class D, Old Orchard Beach won a title game that still stirs the community.

By Mike Lowe mlowe@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Now he’s the athletic director, but in 1986 Jack Trull was the football coach who directed Old Orchard Beach High to the Class D state title in the division’s final season before this year.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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The 1986 program shows it was an Old Orchard-Madison state final.

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HIGH SCHOOL FALL PREVIEWS

Overall previews for high school sports begin this week, as follows:

Wednesday: Class C & D football

Thursday: Class B football

Friday: Class A football

Monday, Sept. 9: Field hockey

Tuesday, Sept. 10: Boys’ soccer

Wednesday, Sept. 11: Girls’ soccer

Thursday, Sept. 12: Cross country

Monday, Sept. 16: Volleyball

Tuesday, Sept. 17: Golf

FOOTBALL LIVE STREAMING

Here at www.pressherald.com/sports, we’ll be providing live broadcasts of up to 16 regular-season football games, plus playoffs. Here are the first five games scheduled to be streamed:

Friday: Cheverus at Portland

Saturday: York at Westbrook

Sept. 12: Portland at Deering

Sept. 13: Bangor at Scarborough

Sept. 14: Lewiston at Cheverus

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Trull said he had a simple message for his players: "We wanted them to come out and play like we had all season and show them what Old Orchard Beach football was about. We weren't going to quit and we were going to find a way to win."

Josh Barstow, the senior quarterback/kicker/punter, started it.

On their second possession of the second half, the Seagulls faced a fourth-and-long at their 16. As Barstow took the long snap, he hesitated and looked up -- "See him look," said Trull, watching the tape -- and noticed the Madison linemen had peeled back to set up a blocking wall for the punt returner.

Barstow then took off, running up the right sideline to the Old Orchard 45. "People were yelling at me that it was a great call," said Trull. "I didn't call it. That was all Josh."

And that's when everything started going right for the Seagulls -- and wrong for Madison.

"That really turned the game around," said Carl Rudman, a Madison assistant at the time.

Aided by a later 15-yard penalty against Madison, OOB scored to pull within 20-12. On the second play after the kickoff, Tommy Mullen intercepted a pass, returning it to the 25. A Madison player was called for a late hit, moving the ball to the 12. A couple plays later, Barstow threw a touchdown pass to Tom LaChance and it was 20-18.

Madison lost a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. At this point, said Trull, the OOB sideline was delirious. "We were still losing at the time," he said, "but we knew we were going to win."

On the other sideline, said Carl Rudman, the Bulldogs had a sinking feeling. "Any time you're in a game like that, when you have the upper hand and lose it, it's really hard," he said.

Facing a fourth-and-2 on the first play of the fourth quarter, Barstow drew Madison offside with a hard count. LaChance then scored on a 19-yard run and the Seagulls led 24-20. OOB had missed its previous two 2-point conversions so the Seagulls lined up as if to kick the PAT.

But Trull had a message for his seventh-grade manager, Billy Blanchette, to deliver to Barstow. "I didn't want to use a timeout," said Trull, "so when Billy ran out to give Josh the kicking tee, I told him to tell Josh to (fake it)."

The snap came directly to Barstow, who threw a pass to David Snow and it was 26-20.

When the game finally ended, said Trull, "there was this big pig pile. Kids were crying with joy."

After watching the VHS tape of the comeback again, Trull shook his head. "Special kids on a special team," he said.

A BIG WELCOME HOME

When the team turned off the Maine Turnpike to return to the high school, they were greeted by every police car, fire truck and ambulance in Old Orchard Beach.

"Yeah, we had a parade," said Plante. "My dad (Jerry) was the town manager. We had no problem getting the fire trucks."

What Trull remembers is the length of the parade.

"We didn't get to the high school for another hour," he said. "They took us all through town. I think we went on every road in Old Orchard. And what was great is that people were coming out, flicking their lights on for us. Somehow everyone knew."

The celebration continued for a while. "We ate for free for weeks," said Plante. "I think there were team dinners for the next three weeks."

Plante said the victory, "established football as the sport in town." Chretien said it "brought back the football tradition."

(Continued on page 3)

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Additional Photos

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Dean Plante, who was a member of that 1986 championship team, now directs the football program at Old Orchard Beach, and hopes his players can produce the same kind of memories in the state’s return to a Class D division.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Jack Trull was coming off a loss in the 1985 state final with Old Orchard Beach, and in 1986 had the Seagulls primed to go all the way.

1986 Press Herald file

 


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